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Math Help - Simplifying Square roots

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    Simplifying Square roots

    How do you simplify square roots. I know it deals with splitting it or something...

    x=(15+sqrt345)/4

    how would I simplify it?
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyRP View Post
    How do you simplify square roots. I know it deals with splitting it or something...

    x=(15+sqrt345)/4

    how would I simplify it?
    Split 345 into it's prime factors and if one appears twice you can take that factor out of the square root. To find the prime factors try dividing by ascending prime numbers:

    345 = 3x 115 (so 3 is a prime factor)
    115 = 5x 23 (so 5 is a prime factor)
    23 = 23x 1 (so 23 is a prime factor)

    As no prime factor occurs more than once \sqrt{345} cannot be simplified. Your answer is fully simplified

    If, for example you had \sqrt{32} that could be simplified because 32 has prime factors of 2^5 which means you can take out two lots of two (ie: 4) and leave the sqrt2 behind:

    \sqrt{32} = \sqrt{2^4 \times 2} = 4\sqrt{2}

    In general it's because of the rules saying \sqrt{ab} = \sqrt{a} \times \sqrt{b} and \sqrt{a^2} = a
    Last edited by e^(i*pi); May 12th 2009 at 03:16 PM.
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